The collision happened about 9 p.m. Wednesday near Edinger and Grand avenues in Santa Ana.
The incident started minutes earlier when someone fired shots at a van. Police said the driver of the van had been shot and the passenger was steering the van as it traveled westbound before smashing into the Volkswagen Beetle carrying the family.
The driver of the van died from his wounds and the passenger was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.
The two adults and three children in the Beetle were taken to a hospital also with unknown injuries.
"When we get here, we were informed that there was a shooting approximately two blocks east of here," said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department. "They flee that scene westbound in the eastbound lanes. When they get to this intersection, they collide with the Volkswagen, which is northbound on Grand trying to make an eastbound turn, and that's when they collided."
Police said it was unclear whether the van was shot at from another car or by someone on foot.
No further information was available.